As a school leader, I am always thinking about what type of leadership is most effective in leading the learning at our school. Recently, a group of students reminded me what is really important:
On Wednesday, February 19, I joined the Leadership and Organization class to listen to the oral examination of the “Personal Best Assignment”. The aim of this assignment was for students to show that they could analyse their own personal leadership style in a particular situation.
Students were to speak about a leadership position they have held in the past year. During the discussion I listened to students discuss:
- a description of their activity (people, age, gender)
- what type of leadership was required in the situation
- whether it was necessary to change leadership styles during the experience
- the relevance of any theories covered in the course
- the behaviors of the individuals they led
- what challenges they faced
Students had varied experiences to share: ski instructors, summer camp instructors, leading peers in Mandarin class during Language Day, Chairing a MEP committee of peers, leading value exercises in a Safe Internet course, and more.
The conclusions the students drew from their work were important reminders for me:
-“leadership styles have to adjust depending on the situation”
-“even if everyone has great ideas, if we are all talking at the same time – we cannot hear them“
-“if you emphasize the “why” – it will go better“
-“how ‘positive’ of an attitude you have affects the style of leadership you use“-“informal leaders are sometimes as influential as formal leaders“
-“it is challenging to lead peers“
-“the pressure you put on yourself is worst“
-“leading is easier when we work together“
I was inspired by the discussions I heard. I was impressed with the understanding, analysis, and reflection by the students.
I am confident that when these students take on their next leadership role, they will be even better prepared. I am eager to see what they can accomplish.
Thanks students for reminding me what aspects of leadership really matter …
Head of School/Rektor – VRG